‘Sum of its Parts’ – Hackney’s Newest Exciting Public Artwork

The whole is more than the sum of its parts in Hackney’s newest exciting public artwork that explores all the individual elements that make up the distinctive character of the east London borough.

Hackney Council commissioned the Building Exploratory to co-ordinate a community engagement project to draw interest to the construction of its new customer services centre. Pupils of the neighbouring secondary school, Hackney Free and Parochial School, have worked with a local artist to create stunning designs that decorate the hoardings surrounding the site.

The young people’s designs were unveiled during a celebratory event, with live music from Rising Tide professional development and training charity, and storytelling and interpretation from Baden Prince, poet, writer and performer.

The Council is very proud of the work. Mayor Jules Pipe said: “The designs capture the creativity and energy of Hackney. They celebrate this very special part of East London and will I’m sure invite very personal responses from everyone who sees them. They are another fine testament to the young talent that is such a big part of our borough.”

The Building Exploratory worked with local artist, Florian Kremb and over 50 pupils from the school. Through a series of creative research and design tasks the young people compiled material exploring their own favourite parts of Hackney, key facts about the borough, identity and citizenship. The young people’s suggestions and images informed the final artwork. Each has a presence through their own silhouettes and ideas embodied in the designs.

In addition to creating a series of eye-catching artworks to animate the site, the project will also be a resource to be used by the Building Exploratory across its education programme with other schools in the borough. The designs will also be made into a sculpture to go inside the new complex when the hoardings come down and the building is complete.

Clare Thomas, Chair of Trustees, the Building Exploratory, said: “Public involvement is essential in the shaping of a sustainable urban environment and this project has been important in creating an innovative and exciting new platform for the voices and ideas of the young people who participated in the project and helped to create this vibrant illustration of Hackney and all its parts.”